Non-Western Art

Alaska Native art and the use of baleen in basket weaving is so interesting in that its seems so implausible to look at a beautifully woven basket and think it was made from whale.  Baleen is a flexible type material found in the mouth of certain whales, it is a filter used to separate food from water in whales that have no teeth. (Wikipedia, Baleen)

Pictured below is a photograph of a baleen whale with its mouth opened and baleen showing.


Baskets were originally made by Inupiat Alaska Natives males, in order to sell to tourists visiting Alaska.  The very first baleen basket weaver is said to be a man named Kinguktuk who lived in Barrow, Alaska and made his first baskets in 1914. (wikipedia, baleen basketry)

220px-InuitbasketInupiat baleen basked, with an Ivory handle, made by Kingutuk, Barrow, Alaska

Displayed at the Museum of Man, San Diego, CA

 The above piece by Kingutuk does not have a published date that it was made but it had to be somewhere between 1914 and the 1930’s.  It’s amazing to see this early work baleen weaving is so meticulous.


Baleen basket with an ivory polar bear and seal handle, made by George Omnik, Point Hope, Alaska

This piece by Omnik was made sometime before the1970’s and is interesting to see a different type of weave, much larger and more open then previous pieces.  The ivory handle is also very large.

As the tradition of baleen basket weaving continued its became more popular to see women weavers as well is men.  The basket below is a modern piece made in 2000 by a female weaver.  I find this piece to be much more modern with its dark black color and very tight weave.  Also the very distinct color block with the contrasting white stripe through the center of the basket and the lid.

1342731378667-520341791Black baleen basket with walrus ivory carved polar bear. Marilyn Hank, 2000 Point Hope, Alaska (This basket is currently for sale for 12,500$)

Works cited:

Wikipedia: Baleen Basketry Web, April 25, 2015

Wikipedia: Baleen Web, April 25, 2015

Post Modern Virtual Exhibit

Pop Art

Andy Warhol was an american artist that lived from August 1928 to February 1987.  Born in Pittsburg, Warhol was a sickly child that became overly attached to his mother and an outcast to others.  Later Warhol attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology.  In his early work Warhol did many advertisements and later became a leading artist in the pop art movement.  I really enjoy Warhol’s work, it always brings a quick smile to my face.  I especially like his portrayal of famous icons in fun colors and poses, it makes the them seem more approachable, relatable, and just everyday people.


Mickey Mouse, Andy Warhol, 1981


Micheal Jackson, Andy Warhol, 1984


Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Warhol 1985

Another leader in pop art was Roy Lichtenstein, he lived from October 1923 to September 1997.  He was born to a Jewish family in New York.  He attended Ohio State University but had to leave before graduation for WWII.  After the War he was able to return to Ohio State finish his degree and then became an art professor.  Within the pop art movement Lichtenstein preferred comic strips for his inspiration.  Among his pieces of work I really enjoy his earlier pieces that include many comic strip type glamorous woman but also his later work were he put famous people in comic strip paintings like his work Bobby Kennedy.  Some of his other pieces make me wonder the meaning he meant behind them, if there is some political satire he is implying like in Gun in America or I Love Liberty.


Roy Lichtenstein, Bobby Kennedy, 1989


Roy Lichtenstein, Gun in America 1989


Roy Lichtenstein, I Love Liberty, 1982

Roy Lichtenstein, Wikipedia, Web 16 April 2015

Andy Warhol, Wikipedia, Web 16 April 2015

Art of The Great Depression

The Great Depression was a depression of the mind and the economy, the world had just come out of The Great War with many casualties and as the war seemed as if it would end the world now the economy was tearing apart homes, families, and lively hoods.  What an apt name for the time The Great Depression, jobs were depressed, food was depressed, and the human mind was depressed with the loss of hope.  But what of the arts could such a “frivolous” part of life exist in this hard knock time, and what styles of art would people still enjoy say impressionism art with it’s bright colors when real life seemed so dismal?

Not only did art continue on but it began to flourish especially as president Roosevelt enacted the New Deal an initiative to make jobs to fight unemployment and more specifically for the arts The Federal Art Project that paid artists to create paintings, murals, ect. of the “American Scene” (Adler)  Here are just a very few of the art pieces made under the New Deal.


Baseball at Night by Morris Kantor, 1934 New York


Subway by Lily Furedi, 1934 New York


In the Barber Shop by Ilya Bolotowsky, 1934, New York

As you can see from these arts they truly are of an american scene, but what stands out to me is the scene they are lacking.  These paintings do not portray the lines of men standing outside looking for work or the gaunt faces of the starving but rather they are a simple look and what should be on a very normal day.  All three of these paintings are looking beyond the depression at what was and what could one day be again.  What is more american than a baseball game and yet may have seemed unattainable, that there would be a time to not sit back relax and just enjoy a game.  The Subway painting is also interesting to me in that it’s just normal life, or life continued, just the norm if there wasn’t a depression going on.  Lastly what could possibly be more mundane than going to the barber shop in Bolotowsky’s painting.  These are just the normal everyday life things that people would do outside of economic downfall and these paintings helped remind viewers of a simpler time and that this could be once again.

Us History, Social and Cultural Effects of the Great Depression.  Web 3 April 2015

Adler, Jerry :1934: The Art of The New Deal. Smithsonian Magazine. June 2009. Web 3 April 2015


As the impressionist style took hold in the late 1800’s the painting became very photographic in style, blending the forefront of the picture with the background.  Impressionism paintings played with light and used small lite brush strokes to make the painting seem more like a snapshot. (Wiki)  Mainly because of the lighting and brighter coloring in these paintings I tend to not enjoy this style. Like this painting Reading, the colors is too bright to be pleasing to my eye and I don’t see or feel much beyond a woman reading in a field.


Berthe Morisot, Reading, 1873, Cleveland Museum of Art

Of the impressionism paintings I explored I found this one by Claude Monet to be the most interesting.  Still the colors are very bright almost pastel but I do find myself wondering what the woman and child in the painting are looking and thinking about.  There seems to be a cross between wonderment and distress in their look.


Claude Money, Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son (Camille and Jean Monet), 1875, Washington DC

In searching through modern art front he 1990’s I found this piece called California Dreamin’ I really enjoy this painting for its jeweled tones, darker lighting, and that the image brings to mind a beautiful garden in the middle of a dark concrete city.


Simon Bull, California Dreamin, 1990’s

My eye is just drawn to the rich colors and the sense that the painting is drawing you further in to see whats behind the flowers.  I just don’t get the same reaction from Impressionism paintings

Wikipedia, Impressioniam. Web. 25 March 2015

Revolution of Art in the 1700’s

Art in the 1700’s was an interesting time as paintings moved away from using religious content and influence.  The enlightenment really influenced the American Revolution starting in 1765, and as the colonies rejected British rule artists of the time recorded what was happening in their painting.  Such as these painting that really capture history.


The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill, painted in 1786


Capture of the Hessians at the Battle of Trenton

140px-Declaration_independenceThe Declaration of Independence, painted in 1817

What I really see in these pantings are visual aids of our history.  To be able to see what was happening at the birth of our country is an amazing time capsule that transports me to that time.  Every person seems so dignified in there stature and in the battle scenes you can feel the movement and the strength of their actions.  I also appreciate the dark sky’s in the battle paintings in that even if it was a beautiful day I can see visualizing the death and sounds and smells of battle as a dreary day; a beautiful blue sky would seem a drastically out of place backdrop to the devastation of war.  Also the colors of in these paintings seem very real more like a still shot photograph than a painting.

Works Cited:

Wikipedia, John Trumbull, Web 8 Mar. 2015

Wikipedia, American Revolution, Web 8 Mar. 2015


As the renaissance ended and the Catholic reformation had taken place the catholic church decided it was time to fight back and The Council of Trent was formed.  Art was once again to be utilized by the church to bring believers closer to God and allow the laymen to seek and understand God through the visual arts.  Images like The Crowning of Thorns were created in a style that let the viewer bring the Bible to life in their mind. caravaggio-crowning-560 What a huge step away from mannerism in its artificial, unbalanced point of view.  This painting has clarity and realism that would transport the mind to the actual actions of the guards torturing Jesus before his crucifixion.  This surely transports my mind to visualize the horrific pain that was endured to secure my salvation. Gone is the time of mannerism and the the elongated sometimes obscure forms. a000081dLike this painting; Monsignor della Cos. With the anti-reformation movement art would no longer be seen as idolatry to the Catholic church when it portrayed biblical thinking but would be a tool to grow faith.

Works Cited:
The Baroque:Art, Politics & Religion in 17th-century Europe (1600-1700: The Baroque: Art, Politics & Religion in 17th-century Europe)
Monsignor della Casa

Art in the Renaissance

The Sistine Chapel Ceiling bu Michelangelo

While the renaissance is well known for several pieces of art that have withstood the ages such as David and the Mona Lisa I would think many could agree that the Sistine Chapel is the most compelling and awe inspiring in size alone but also in beauty.  The Sistine Chapel is the story Genesis with separate painting depicting the stories of the first book of the Bible.

Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the Sistine chapel and although he was reluctant at first he finally agreed and painted the ceiling from 1508-1512.  The original commission was for paintings of the apostles but Michelangelo had a much grander idea and the Pope gave him free reign. (wikipedia SC)  The ceiling is indeed much more grand that the original idea of only the apostles.  With so many scenes its easy to fall in love with them as a whole but also individually.  My particular favorite is The Creation of David.  To know the story of Adam and that he would walk in the garden of eden with Jesus this scene of there hands reaching out to one another is touching.

The Creation of Adam

We are so lucky to have these painting from the High Renaissance period before the Reformation of the Catholic Church. (Wikipedia HR)  Many works of art from the church were destroyed after the reformation and the style of art changed with the new order of the church.  When scenes from the Bible were considered Idolatry and even secular paintings were viewed as a distraction.  We are so blessed that so many beautiful pieces of art survived this time for us to enjoy still today

Wikipedia Sistine Chapel

Wikipedia High Renaissance

Getting to know me

Hello all!  My name is Jacyn (pronounced Jason)  I’m a stay at home mom in Fairbanks Alaska of two little ones, my son Jett and my daughter Georgia.  In my extra time Im a student and attend UAF and am hoping to one day soon get my degree in Nursing.  I am doing this blog as part of an Art class at the university.

For many years of my life I did not consider myself an artist in any form of the word, however when my son turned 1yrs old I desperately wanted to make him an elaborate birthday cake. I wanted to through out the years of my children’s lives be able to give them fanciful memories of birthday parties, family, friends, presents, and amazing birthday cakes.  So with this little dream and several youtube videos later, I found a form of art I was good at.


Just one of the many superhero cakes I have made for my son.

I have found great joy in lighting up the face of my children on their birthday or making decorated cupcakes for baby showers and have even made a few wedding cakes.  Along the way I have learned to sculpt, paint, and numerous other forms of decorating from the internet.  One of the first youtube videos I watched on my cake making journey was how to cover a cake with fondant.  Its amazing how you can learn anything with a little dedication and a good internet connection.